Right out of the headlines, and into reality. Less than two official weeks into the new job and I'm being faced with the reality of scum already... Yesterday afternoon, the social worker that I have been assigned to shadow was called out on an emergency referral (these are the highest risk tags and when they are called in, the social worker has to drop whatever they are doing and handle the referral). A 4 year old boy was beaten by his stepfather and was in the emergency room. By the time we arrived, the police were already there interviewing the mother and the child - the child was semi-alert and sitting in the hospital bed. Apparently, the step father had beaten the child and slammed the childs head into the wall. When we arrived to document and begin the intake process, the little boys head was turning black and blue and was swelling to a point where his head was deformed. His right ear was nearly sticking sideways from the swelling. Gratefully, the doctors were able to run cat scans and x-rays for the child and it appears that there will be no long-term damage from what they can tell, but none the less, a felony warrant was issued for the father (they still have not found him today). Because the mother was adamant that she never wanted the husband around the child again and took steps for protection of herself and the children, we did not need to place the child into protective custody - however, the police officer put out an APB over the radio and offered a lunch to the officer that brought the guy in. I really hope that they catch him very soon. We went to follow up with the mother this afternoon at her home (the boy had been released from the hospital this morning). The boy seemed to be doing pretty well, but his head was still deformed from the swelling and his eyes were nearly swollen shut from the swelling and were a deep purple color. This job is going to be hard. I had to choke back tears a few times yesterday afternoon in the emergency room as we interviewed the mother. Her pain for her child was clear and that people can do this to innocent children is bewildering. I head to academy for the next two weeks starting Monday where the real training begins. Then I go back to the field. I have been doing social services for over 10 years now... and in the last two days, this is the first time I have felt that the work that I'm doing makes a true and real difference.